Two die in attacks by Kuki militants in Moreh
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 17 2024: Kuki militants armed with sophisticated weapons, generally used in war between countries, launched fierce attacks towards state forces deployed in Moreh since early Wednesday morning leaving at least two commando personnel dead and many injured in the series of attacks.

The martyred commando personnel are identified as rifleman Wangkhem Somorjit alias Abung (32), son of late Chaoton of Malom Tulihal and havildar Takhellambam Saileshwar (40), son of late Babu of Lamsang Akham.

The injured commando personnel are ASI Sidarth Thokchom (35), son of late Bocha of Thangmeiband Lourung Purel Leikai, and constable Ngaseppam Bhim Singh (35), son of Tikendra of Chingkhu Pangei.

ASI Sidarth suffered bomb splinter injuries on his left cheek and under the ear while Bhim was hit on his left leg.

Both of them are special commando personnel.

According to a police source, Kuki militants armed with sophisticated weapons started attacking the state force deployed near Kondong Lairembi from 5.10am Wednesday using bombs and sniper rifles.

Immediately after getting the news, a team of state force deployed at SBI building rushed towards Kondong Lairembi area as reinforcement.

However, the reinforcement team moving on bullet proof vehicles were attacked by Kuki militants using sniper rifles before reaching Kondong Lairembi which the reinforcement team retaliated.

During the exchange of fire, Rifleman Somorjit was hit by sniper bullet trying to descend from the vehicle and died instantly.

At the same time, Kuki militants attacked state force deployed at SBI building using sophisticated weapons and even fired RPG shells towards the building.

State forces deployed at the building too retaliated and heavy exchange of fire took place.

Soon, several areas in the border town stationing state forces like IRB, special police commando and Moreh commando were surrounded by Kuki militants followed by uninterrupted attacks using RPGs, bombs and sniper rifles.

Later, Havildar Saileshwar succumbed to injury after being hit by sniper bullet on head while returning to the camp after collecting rice/food on a bullet proof vehicle.

Saileshwar died at the spot while ASI Sidarth and constable Bhim suffered bomb splinter injuries.

Martyred Somorjit along with injured commando personnel were rushed to Key Location Point of Assam Rifles and later airlifted to Imphal in a helicopter.

Both the injured commando personnel have been admitted at RIMS for treatment while Somorjit's corpse was deposited at RIMS morgue for post mortem.

The body of Saileshwar is yet to arrive at Imphal till the time of filing this report.

The source further said that special commando and other state force personnel deployed at the border town retaliated to the series of intense attacks carried out by Kuki militants from 5.10am.One of the RPGs fired by Kuki militants towards police commandos fell at the kitchen of the barrack and exploded.

Bombs and RPGs fired by Kuki militants set on fire the building where the commando personnel are Staying with the flame spreading to nearby houses as there were no means to douse the fire.

Meanwhile, a team of 5 Assam Rifles in two Casper vehicles moving towards the spot where state forces were positioned to counter attacks from Kuki militants were stopped on the way at gun point by armed Kukis and to retreat.

Both the AR Casper vehicles moved back without saying anything to the armed Kukis.

Later, large number women came out in the area and told the AR team to return to their camp.

Later, one woman protestor jumped in front of one of the Casper vehicles and died instantly after being knocked down by the vehicle.

Bombs and RPGs fired by Kuki militants fell at several residential areas and caused fire to buildings of Mount Moreh School, Bethsaida academy middle school and Dr Colvin academy.

Major portion of Moreh commando complex and other areas stationing commando personnel were destroyed by the fire caused by heavy shelling of RPGs and bombs by Kuki militants.

State forces deployed at the border town could not douse the fire caused due to heavy bombs and RPGs shelling by Kuki militants.

However, two fire tenders from Myanmar came and tried to control the fire.

According to the source, some Kuki militants might have been injured in the retaliatory fire by state forces to the coordinated attacks launched from five different areas.

Kuki militants launched the coordinated attacks from Chikim village near Kondong Lairembi, Canaan Veng, Moreh Ward No 7, New Moreh Ward No 8, Ngamkhai Veng Ward No 8 near the IB of 5 AR.

5 AR posts are presently at S Moljol village not far from Moreh town, battalion's KLP near Chikim Veng, one post near Indo-Myanmar Friendship Gate No 2 and another at Moreh Gate No 1.The areas from where Kuki militants launched coordinated attack towards state forces were not far from 5 AR posts mentioned above while BSF camps are also nearby the areas stationing state forces.

A late report said that Kuki militants have resumed attacks towards state forces from 9.30 pm Wednesday using bombs and sophisticated weapons.

However, there is no report of casualty on state force personnel till the time of filing this report.

Apart from the Moreh attacks, armed Kukis on Wednesday evening fired several rounds towards Nongpok Keithelmanbi and another nearby village.

According to a report, the armed Kukis fired several rounds from around 6.30 pm Wednesday to which the village volunteers retaliated leading to exchange of fire till 7 pm.

Meanwhile, armed Kukis fired several rounds including bombs towards Nongpok Keithelmanbi around 9pm Wednesday.

The village volunteers and the security forces deployed in the area responded with several rounds.

As the villagers in Nongpok Keithelmanbi fled the area for safety, the gunfight continued on till late night, the report added.

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